I am finally on the last pattern repeat of this never-ending disaster of a project.
Other than the fact that I had forgotten to change the k2togs to p2togs in the last lace repeat for the border, I thought things were going well until I looked in the bag and noticed-I HAD ALMOST NO YARN LEFT.
Triangular shawls take a huge amount of yarn to complete at the end and I hadn't been paying attention. What I did have was a ball of leftover green from the top and.....
...some dye. But what color should I put over the green to get the color I needed?
The bottom stripe of blue was a really a mixture of red, gray and navy so I made half the leftover yarn gun metal and half plain navy. One is too dark and the other is too blue but I am totally over this project. I've got only two stinking rows and a bind off left so I am just going to use what I have and call it a day.
I have spent a crazy amount of time in doctor's waiting rooms lately and I have a lot of finished objects to show for it.
The first things done were the Owlie Mitts in Wandering Cat Yarns Swamp Thing colorway. Aren't they cute? Very Duck Dynasty. I confess I have not seen the show but you can't help but get caught up in all the hype. Those dudes are everywhere.
The second thing off the needles were the thrummed mitts from Zenitude.
These were crazy fun to make. In case you want to know what is so special about these mittens take a look at the inside. They are so soft and warm it is like putting your hand in a cloud.
Last but not least, I finished these Nice Ribbed Socks by Glenna C. The yarn is by Abstract Fiber.
You'll notice that Shaelyn is not in this pile. She is having yet another crisis that I will tell you all about later. Jeesh.
My three new fleeces have been out in the shed taunting me since I brought them home. Last Thursday was the first day in weeks that I had the time to get them out and play with them. I should also blame the weather. It has been crazy cold and wet.
In the meantime, I've been doing my homework and have added some new things to my washing routine. A few drops of alcohol is added to the rinse water and I have gone back to using a bar soap for washing locks with a Dawn soak.
All this (except the alcohol) comes from the DVD, Spinning for Lace. Margaret Stove's method and my method were not that different but hers is tweeked in a way that is best for Merino. The first difference is smaller locks. No more than a finger width is her advice.
She gives her locks a quick dip in very hot water and a squeeze before going on to the soaping.
Here is where we really differ. I used to try to keep my fiber lined up while patting it gently through the soap. She recommends a good scrubbing with the balled up lock. This really gets rid of any dirt and vm and believe it or not prevents felting-as long as you are using plenty of soap.
She also believes in a very quick rinse, leaving some soap behind to prevent insect damage but I am not a fan of soapy locks so I gave mine a good rinsing with my tea kettle full of nearly boiling water before patting them dry with a thick towel.
If I hadn't had to keep stopping and starting for one reason or another, I could have had all these done in just over a half an hour. It doesn't look like much, but this many locks can keep you very busy for quite a few days and give you plenty of spun material if you are spinning thin. Now for the real test. As soon as they are dry, I need to give them a gentle combing and spin some samples. One of them is going to be my TdF project. Right now I am betting on the Merino X.
I may not have won the big lottery jackpot but I spent money like I was a millionaire this weekend.
That pretty pile of wood in the back of The Mister's car is a Schact Wolf Pup. I was lazing in bed Thursday morning and looking through the Ravelry groups on my Kindle when I saw that someone had this cute little loom for sale in the Northern Virginia area. That's just a short trip around the Beltway from here. The price was right, the location was right and the small size was right-I had the money saved so why not?
The lovely seller was kind enough to send me home with a box of goodies to play with. I had to confess to her that I know nothing-nothing about weaving on this type of loom. She could have sent me home with a pile of lumber and some string and I wouldn't have known the difference.
She also sent me home with some very good advice, which was to get myself over to Craftsy asap. I signed up for a beginner's floor loom class and I am loving it.
For my class homework, I spent yesterday morning pretending that I had a warping board by using the chairs in the dining room. I needed to practice making crosses. It is a lot harder than it looks.
I also practiced tying up my itty bitty warp and chaining it. My first Craftsy project will be a woven pillow cover. As soon as my new warping board and other do-dads show up from the Yarn Barn, I'll be in business for real.
I went to the MDSW with hopes of finding some yellow wool material for the rug I am hooking. I did.
I also found all of this. It was jammed in two large plastic bags and each was sold for $10. Incredible. My eyes almost fell out when I unpacked those bags and found out what treasures I had brought home.
In one bag there was not only fabric but an entire kit, already began, with the tiny strips all cut and sorted on cards.
Another bag was full of samples from dyers with the price tags still attached. Most were to be sold for more than I had paid for the entire bag.
I've got a beautiful pile of hand dyed wool in every color imaginable. I can't believe my luck at finding this wonderful guild that was practically giving wool away while everyone else was charging an arm and a leg. I was almost ready to give it all up as a hobby that was too expensive to pursue but right now I am all set.
Now I just need to figure out how to do it because what I am doing compared to what I saw at the festival is not quite the same thing. I found this beauty hanging on the wall in the judging area and am totally in awe of how they created and filled in their quirky little shapes.
I am still being too careful and controlled. I need to fix myself a gin and tonic, crank up the stereo with some 60's rock and just let 'er rip.
As for the lottery, I didn't win the $600 million last night. Did you?
I really hate not having a project on the Ladybug. Whenever I have a minute or two to spare, I love to just plop down in front of it and get into that zone of relaxation that happens when I am peddling the wheel. It's like meditating. As soon as I finished the Vegetable Medley, I had to find something to replace it.
I decided on one of the over-dyed BFL braids that Daughter had bought me for Mother's Day. Since there is no rhyme or reason to these colors, I just split it into whatever widths the fiber wanted to be.
The nests are very pretty. I would have never thought that gray, green and yellow with just a tiny touch of blue would work so well together.
I am totally flabbergasted by the fact that I have my first ever chain plying success story to share. Most of my posts are centered around me whining about my failures but for once I am doing a big old happy dance because something worked out better than expected.
It took me almost a week to ply my Vegetable Medley singles. I took my time for a change and it shows.
Usually I spin singles for days and days and then think I should be able to ply in one sitting. So wrong. Also for the first time, I was able to get my hands into a comfortable rhythm and it helped with the consistency. I found that if I pulled from the side instead of straight back towards me, it slowed the entry into the orifice which gave me more time to get the yarn to twist the way I wanted it to. I should have gotten a photo of that for my own future reference. Next time.
Now I have to search for a pattern. I want this to be a rectangular shawl but since it is a 3 ply, with long and irregular color repeats, the search may take a while.